Halifax Convention Centre
The Halifax Convention Centre is a conference centre under construction in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is slated to open in 2016, replacing the nearby World Trade and Convention Centre as the main convention venue in the city.
Trade Centre Limited (TCL), the provincial Crown corporation which operates the World Trade and Convention Centre, has stated that the current facility is insufficiently sized to accommodate demand for larger scale conventions, citing the lack of a dedicated exhibition room and the larger size of comparable facilities elsewhere in the country. In 2008, Trade Centre Limited and the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal issued an expression of interest for an expanded facility. This process identified a successful proponent, Rank Inc., a private developer with whom TCL has formed a partnership. Rank will build the overall development, called Nova Centre, of which the convention centre, operated by TCL, will be a constituent enterprise.
Auditor General Jacques Lapointe, in 2012, criticized the market study used to justify construction of the new convention centre. Without questioning the general merits of a new facility, he stated that "some industry realities were ignored" and provided new calculations which suggested that the economic spinoff could be significantly diminished if the expected utilization rate was lower than calculated. He also stated that the financial management of Trade Centre Limited was "very poor". Trade Centre CEO Scott Ferguson responded by stating that he stood by the original projections. The auditor general recommended the Dexter cabinet seek an independent second opinion on the 10-year market projections for facility use, but the government refused, stating that the reports which has been done to date were sufficient.
The branding and name of the facility, Halifax Convention Centre, were announced in early 2014 by Ferguson, who praised the "simplicity" and marketing sense of the name and graphic identity. He has also stated that numerous bookings have already been made, and that the centre is "on track" to meet business projections.
The new convention centre will comprise over 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2) of meeting space, including a 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) ballroom, 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) of exhibition space, and other meeting and function rooms. It is being constructed on a site comprising two city blocks bounded by Prince, Argyle, Sackville, and Market streets, bisected by Grafton Street which has been temporarily closed and destroyed to permit excavation and construction. One of the two blocks was previously the longstanding head office of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, who relocated to Armdale.
The convention centre is part of a larger development called Nova Centre, composed of the convention centre podium with office, residential, and hotel space above. The entire development has been stated to be about 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) in total.
- "Assessing the Potential for Expanded Concention/Trade Show Facilities in Halifax". Trade Centre Limited. HLT Advisory. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Withers, Paul (21 November 2012). "Auditor general doubts convention centre targets". CBC News. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Halifax convention centre jumps latest hurdle". CBC News. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Davenport, Ruth (23 January 2014). "New convention centre brand unveiled, 16 conferences already booked". Metro Halifax. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "New convention centre already booking conventions". CBC News. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Facility". Halifax Convention Centre official website. Halifax Convention Centre. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Developer of Halifax's new Nova Centre releases final design". CTV News. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014.